The school was recently awarded the NACE Challenge Award for its outstanding provision for more able pupils. The high standards achieved by pupils are recognised by both senior schools and inspection teams. Since 2010 the school has received four outstanding inspection reports. There is a firm educational focus on the individual and personalised learning along with a commitment to small class sizes. Pupils are offered exciting performance opportunities in music and drama as well as 4–5 hours each week of PE and Games lessons including weekly sporting fixtures, termly tournaments and competitions at local, regional and national level. The school’s Gold Schools Games Mark, Healthy Schools Award and Good Diabetes Care in School Award all demonstrate the importance the school places on emotional health and well-being.
The school is dedicated to providing outstanding pastoral care combined with personalised, academic learning programmes and investigative hands-on Forest School experiences. The school offers a breadth of opportunities together with a focus on how children learn rather than simply what they learn. Inspiring teaching staff identify learning styles, set personalised targets and tailor teaching to the individual, ensuring that each child has every opportunity to achieve their personal best. Through small classes and individual academic guidance and a carefully thought out PSHEE program, pupils are encouraged to analyse their strengths and target their weaknesses.
Specialist teachers throughout the school ensure children flourish in the school’s vibrant, warm and friendly atmosphere. Pupils are heard to read every day in the Pre-Prep department whilst pupils in the Nursery and Reception classes follow a bespoke curriculum which draws on the strengths of the Early Years curriculum whilst crucially offering children, who are ready, the opportunity to read and write at a younger age and to develop their mathematical skills beyond the current levels of expectation. The introduction of this bespoke curriculum has only been possible as a result of the school’s excellent inspections including an ‘outstanding’ grading from Ofsted – the basis on which the school has been allowed to exit the EYFS framework whilst maintaining the funding. This is a fabulous time for the school to build on such solid foundations.
High pupil achievements contribute to the school’s excellent record for when Year 8 pupils move to senior school as well as obtaining senior school scholarships each year.
As pupils approach Year 8 and Scholarship examinations, there is a greater move towards independence. Pupils take increased responsibility for their learning and conduct, as well as obtaining leadership roles within the school, including Prefect status and mentoring Year 3 pupils when in Year 8. Both the school’s Council and Boarders’ Forum provide pupils with a voice and an opportunity to play an active role in the school’s community as well as enhancing ways in which pupils can communicate with staff and the school in general. In their top two years pupils are taught life skills which culminate in an exciting post-Common Entrance programme with a clear focus on fun, adventure and teamwork.